Grant Martin, a research assistant in Paul Greengard’s lab, died unexpectedly at age 26 on July 26. Mr. Martin joined the Greengard lab in 2010 and worked under the supervision of Yong Kim, where he managed the lab’s microscopy facilities. His research interests were in Alzheimer’s disease and drug addiction and he performed dendritic spine analysis, immunocytochemistry and statistical analysis. Originally from Ross, California, Mr. Martin earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, where he double-majored in neuroscience and biology and was honored with the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. As passionate about music as he was about science, Mr. Martin formed a Brooklyn-based rock-country band called Icewater, for which he sang, composed and played guitar. The band toured, playing at South by Southwest, and was in the process of recording an album. Mr. Martin is survived by his parents and brother Matty. “Grant was well-liked and respected by everyone in the lab, and was known for his reliability and excellent work,” says Dr. Kim, research assistant professor. “He is missed.”
Vernette Owens, Institutional Review Board administrator in the hospital, died of cancer on June 2 at the age of 62. Ms. Owens joined the IRB staff in 2005 with more than 20 years of experience at New York University Langone Medical Center’s IRB. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Ms. Owens lived with her grandmother until her early teens, when she moved to Queens to be with her parents. As an adult, Ms. Owens devoted much of her free time to serving as a deacon at Highland Church in Jamaica, Queens. “She had a strong work ethic,” says Marta Torruella, associate director of sponsored research and program development, who first met Ms. Owens while they were both at NYU. “She was very giving, very sweet — always with her hands out to help someone. She was the kind of person who always had a twinkle in her eye.”
Mary Walkey, an electrician in the Plant Operations Maintenance Shop, passed away in August at the age of 62. Ms. Walkey joined the Rockefeller staff in 2007 after working as chief electrician at Memorial Hospital and as a trade school teacher. She was also trained as a classical musician. “Mary was responsible for the electrical work involved in the lab moves into the new North Campus buildings and was a great source of training for our apprentices,” says Jim Schaefer, Maintenance Shop manager. Ms. Walkey, originally from Wisconsin, lived in Valley Stream, NY, and enjoyed gardening and caring for her two dogs.
Horane Roy Watt
Horane Roy Watt, known as Roy to his coworkers and friends, began working at Rockefeller in 1989 and was a porter in the housing department. He died on June 8 at the age of 59. Survived by his wife, Cheverlyn, and four children, Mr. Watt was buried in his hometown of Manchester, Jamaica. Mr. Watt was a passionate Yankees fan and loved reggae music. “He was loved by coworkers and tenants alike,” says John Ulmer, assistant director of housing operations. “He was always greeting tenants with a big smile and a laugh.”